Hey ok so this week was good!
First we did a gran intercambio and we pulled a fast one on everyone and sent 4 missionaries to Los Alamos and noone was expecting it so it was pretty funny. What happened is that Elder Duffin was living there like 3 months ago so he knows all about it so me and him worked there and two other missionaries. It was a fun day and cool to work in that sector again but the pulgas bit me. Intercambios are a lot of times kind of like a missionary slumber party despite all good intentiones. (also when I referred to "mate" night a few weeks ago it was referring to the cultural drink here mate, pronounced "mah-tay" but I can see where the confusion came from my fault). It was a good thing to get the zone more excited during the hump of the transfer. Now we are looking a lot better for baptisms as far as September goes as a zone. We have some killer missionaries here and some especially killer hermanas.
After that it was just the usual grind. We were kind of dissappointed to find that almost all of the investigators we had found the previous week kind of dissappeared so we started pretty much from ground zero AGAIN except for M. (more on him later). We did a lot of looking but little finding, but I think this week will be better we have some better ideas on how to do things here and have some member references cooking. A lot of our time is spent walking because in the end Lebu is a really big sector. I think if we had bikes we would be totally more efficient but whatever. Right now it's pura pie. We have been working a ton on the big hill of Lebu which is good because it's kind of untouched but bad because it's a hassle to climb up and down.
Interesting thing was that Saturday we found like a secret neighborhood behind the lebu hill which was cool. It's called a "toma" or a "take" in Ingles which is essencially just where a bunch of people are squating on the land. It's waaay out of the way but we found a really cool couple up there. They're older and really evangelical but they told us that they let us in but they had never done that before and that they just felt like they should have done it. we told them that was the spirit of course. We had a really powerful lesson about the atonement of Christ and cleared up some really special truths for them. That's the thing about evangelical churches here, they've strayed from the truth, but when the people have soft hearts and hear restored truth, it makes a lot more sense to them. Sometimes they actually believe in gospel truths without knowing that their churches actually teach something totally different hahaha. Anyway they were pretty cool and we will see where that goes. They have a car which is a big plus.
Other stuff. hmm. We randomly had some really nice sunny days here which was miraculous. Hopefully it keeps up. I worked with Elder Duffin again which is always awesome and we had a good day here too in lebu.
We got kind of lonely here this weekend becuase the district of Lebu had a temple trip! A huge number of members traveled up to Santiago Friday until Sunday morning so we were pretty alone. Our ride to look for M. Sunday slept in by accident and 5 minutes to the meeting starting Tamara Alarcon saved our skins and took us up the hill to bring him down! Totally saved us and him. I literally understand like 25% of what he says which is hilarious. As missionaries we get really good at inferring from context. He learns pretty slowly but he still has to make some changes before he is baptized so it might be a while but he is really progressing in his own funny way. When you go in his house now you can tell there is a difference from when we first got there. He's awesome.
Ok I hope you like the pics I sent. Today hna Tamara saved us a again and lent us her two bikes and we went on a pretty hard ride considering that lebu is like San Clemente in that it's in a valley, so we had to ride like straight vertical for a while and we are kind of Chilean bread chubby as is the norm here. It was really cool though and I will send more pics next week. No one got hurt ;).
I think I've mentioned Elder Montoya before but he is really classic Chilean funny. Like so funny. He does impressions of other missionaries which is probably not ok but really funny. He is a constant laugh.
I'm practising cooking! I have chosen to look at my failures just like steps towards progress but usually at the end of the month here we have to get pretty creative with what we end up with in the pantry.
I can't believe this cambio is ending. I hope I stay here more time! Lebu is awesome. Pretty evangelical, but awesome.
Me and elder Diaz are getting better as a companionship a ton. We realized that we are pretty similar and we were talking about how to get better as a companionship and after a lot of deliberation we decided that we just take way too much way too seriously, like every decision we make is the end of the world. That turned out to kind of be the secret to us being in union better. We have been able to totally tell the difference in our lessons now and so that's awesome.
I've been working really hard at listening to the investigators here. A lot of times as missionaries, we don't do that. It is so important. I've been thinking a lot that the people we teach and talk to all need to know, as soon as possible, that we are on their team. If they don't know that, we are failing. They also need to know that God is on their team. The quicker they can feel that, the more receptive they will be to the invitiations we give them. I'm working at it.
One cool thing about this week was to see the branch in a before temple and after temple way. It's like when they all got back there was just some kind of spiritual maturity there that wasn't there before. It was really cool and made me miss the temple a ton. We were talking as a house about how much we have progressed and changed for the better in the mission and how it's so cool etc and we realized that a lot of the change we attribute to the mission probably has more to do with the covenants we do in the temple, even though they don't get as much credit usually. Food for thought. It makes me want to think about what I promised God there more and try to magnify that stuff more than I do normally.
Ok I love you all thanks for writing. I'm doing great and excited to kill it this week.
Elder Trevor Smith
Elder Trevor Smith
Elder Trevor Smith is a Mormon missionary in the Chile Concepcion Sur mission, the same mission where his dad served. Although this is Trevor's own mission, he grew up hearing about the beautiful land of Chile and the loving people that inhabit it. These are the letters from his experience there.